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Teamsters statement on coronavirus pandemic

(BLET Editor’s Note: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued the following statement on March 13, 2020.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the United States responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, we must ensure that working people are able to perform their jobs in a safe working environment and that sick leave is available to all workers. Without adequate sick leave, workers will be forced to continue working in order to provide food and housing for their families, thus potentially exposing others to the virus.

Federal, state and local governments, as well employers, need to listen to front-line workers in every industry about the actions needed to keep working people safe on the job and to protect our communities.

Teamster members have greater job protections than nonunion workers. However, every worker must be provided basic economic security and protections during this crisis.

The Teamsters will fight to ensure that:

• Everyone has access to free COVID-19 testing;
• Every worker is provided some form of paid sick leave;
• Workers are not punished for calling in sick;
• Frontline workers who treat potentially infected populations be provided with the appropriate protective equipment;
• Workers understand that they are entitled to worker compensation benefits if they are infected as a result of their work;
• Those receiving unemployment benefits while affected by COVID-19 are exempt from searching for work during that time.

It is imperative that we come together as a nation to ensure that sick workers and their families stay home when they are sick, continue to be compensated and protected during this time and that federal, state and local governments do everything in their power to keep workers protected during this crisis.

We have established an information resource center at https://www.teamster.org/covid-19 for members who are seeking additional information.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
bentley@ble-t.org

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